Madagascar Oasis establishes green spaces in urban Madagascar and works with the country’s national zoo to increase the effectiveness of its captive lemur outreach.
Supporting lemur conservation through the creation of urban green spaces
Madagascar Oasis’ actions contribute to the protection of lemurs through their mission to increase urban well-being by creating green spaces (parks with trees, flowers, and other vegetation) throughout the capital city of Madagascar, which is home to over 2 million people. Their work uses the environment to increase urban health and educate children to appreciate nature from an early age. In addition, a major portion of their activities involve rehabilitating Madagascar’s largest zoo – the Tsimbazaza Zoo – which houses several species of lemur and is often the only way in which urban Malagasy citizens are able to interact with their country’s most famous animals.
Helping lemurs in captivity
One of Madagascar Oasis’ larger projects involves the renovation of the Tsimbazaza Zoo, which accommodates over 400,000 visitors per year. The zoo – which is one of the only ways that the capital city’s 2 million residents can see lemurs – is key to many in-country outreach programs. In fact, schools from a 200 kilometer radius make sure to send their students on class trips to the zoo on a yearly basis. Given the zoo’s high visibility and importance to lemur conservation, Madagascar Oasis aims to transform the zoo into a showcase where citizens and tourists will be able to appreciate Madagascar’s biodiversity without distraction. As such, the organization hopes to refurbish the zoo’s basic infrastructure, including rebuilding pathways and providing lemurs with newer and more spacious enclosures. The organization – which has been working on this project since May 2013 – will also work to ensure that plant and animal descriptions across the zoo are updated, uniform, and informative. Madagascar Oasis hopes that their important work will increase visitation by 15% which amounts to an extra 5,000 visitors per month!
Partnering with local communities
Madagascar Oasis’ philosophy is that they only initiate projects that fulfill a need in the local community and require minimum maintenance once they are closed. The organization always involves the local community throughout the entire project lifecycle, including prioritizing projects, gaining approval from decision-makers, implementation, and handing the project over to a local entity. Madagascar Oasis aims to ensure that programs continue following the hand-over to a local organization. Therefore, they provide technical training where necessary and discuss ideas with local communities of how revenue could be generated to ensure program continuity.